IKEA effect


night standI have been excited to finish my night stand project for a while. Is has taken months to conclude. They sat assembled for a while, then I painted them, and then they needed just the right knobs. Now they are finished and in place. I was reluctant to share them with you because I didn’t really design or make them. Just put them together.  Until this morning when I heard about the IKEA effect on the radio. The gist of it is: “Most of us intuitively believe that the things we labor at are the things we love. Mochon and his colleagues, Michael Norton at the Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely at Duke University, have turned that concept on its head. What if, they asked, it isn’t love that leads to labor, but labor that leads to love?”

This question could be asked for so much of my life as a mom and artist. It can get very philosophical: All that I do for my children is it because I created them and as a result love them or I love them and that is why do what I do for them? Or practical: I love all my black and white photographs hanging on my walls because I took them, developed the film, and printed them by hand.  And will defend them to the end when my husband says “We need more color”.

I do like the process of creating things. Some times it effects the love of the end product and other times I am happy to cut it up and start again. My family is always appalled when I start unraveling a knit project when I am almost done. The mittens where just not quite right, so I needed start again.

What do you think? Do you love your IKEA furniture more than the furniture you have bought already assembled? What about other DIY projects? Are they not perfect resulting in you loving them more or do you tuck them behind the couch hoping people won’t notice?




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